Coach Q and A – Todd Curley Round 1

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 4:20 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle coach Todd Curley speaking after Saturday's 95-point Round 1 WAFL victory against East Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, which was the Bulldogs' 10th consecutive derby win against the Sharks.

QUESTION: After what we've been through nobody knew how they would come out for Round 1, but really in every way possible that went perfectly?
It's been a really strange year and lead in, and all of that stuff which has been well spoken about, but I thought all through our boys stuck together and did what they could. I thought it was a really even performance so I certainly won't argue that it was a good start.

Q: It was an even performance in terms of all 22 players contributed but also across the whole four quarters, you really didn’t drop off at any point?
A: And we were pleased about that and the players themselves spoke about it after the game how they were really keen to run it out. We had a few challenges once we lost Dylan obviously we were one short and there were a couple of other blokes we were trying to manage as well. But it was pleasing that it looked like we were still running right to the end so we were really happy.

Q: Mason still kicked three goals in the last quarter and contributed but your goals came from different sources and Caleb Datson especially stepped up with four goals in that first half?
A: He's had a long summer like they all have, and half of winter, but we thought when he came in late to the back half of last year he was really important for us. Unfortunately he got injured and we didn’t have him for the last part of the year, but we know he's a tough match up and we thought he was pretty good especially in the first half when the game was on the line. We just want to share the load a bit and not rely on anyone, and we had a few chipping in and we'll take that.

Q: The scoreboard doesn’t really tell the story but on paper at least that was a team with a lot of talent and quality, to stop them totally playing the way they wanted must be pleasing?
A: I thought we made a couple of adjustments at quarter-time and then we looked pretty sound behind the ball after that, and got some bounce coming back the other way as well. I thought our mids ran both ways well and were really good to spread quick when we had the ball, and to shut them down going the other way. You have to be happy with a performance like that.

Q: Very young side you had out there as well with some debutants including Ben Rioli, Jimmy Miller and Travis Abbott who showed some good signs?
A: I thought we were even and everyone played their part. You don't only look at the stats all the time, but this time it was pretty even with most of our guys getting it between 12 and 20 times, and they all played their bit when they needed to.

Q: It's been 10 months in between but Jake Florenca picked up where he left off last year with a terrific game in the midfield?
A: He is still just a young man as well and there's him, Dragovich and Kade Stewart who are still young fellas. Hamersley was pretty good on a wing as well and we think we've hopefully got some options in that area. The senior blokes were good, the younger guys did well and we'll now start looking towards next week.

Q: The only downside was Dylan Main and at this stage it looks like some sort of lung damage that he copped in that inspirational chase down tackle, which really does sum him up as a leader?
A: He was struggling to get the air in and he went to hospital to get some scans and X-rays done, and hopefully he'll be OK. That was a typical Dylan Main rundown tackle though, which we have sort of grown to expect and love from him. We will support him the best we can and hopefully get him back as soon as possible.

Q: How relieved are you that we are back playing footy and that life is starting to get back to normal in a lot of ways after everything that's happened?
A: I think it's important to everyone – players, coaches, supporters and the community as a whole to get back going and having that bit of feeling of normality. Realistically we are all involved here because we love footy. As coaches, we can't play anymore but this is as close as we can get to that and we enjoy that and the players love playing footy. It's important that we're back and we are really lucky that in WA we've been able to get back and play. Hopefully everything goes well going forward.

Q: Thoughts on now playing West Perth up at Joondalup on Saturday?
A: That's our next opponent. I've spent a lot of time there in my time so I know a lot of people pretty well up there, but we've played them a fair few times now since I've been here and it's just another game. It's a ground we do play pretty well generally at though.